The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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Memorial of Saint Justin

Date: 
Thu, 06/01/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I direct your attention to the following demonstration.
(Step out in front of the pulpit.  Proceed to twirl/spin a rope with a flip flop tied to the end.
Then return to the pulpit.)
 
No, I am not planning to run away and join the rodeo.
And yes, there is a flip flop tied to the end of the rope.  Your eyes do not deceive you.
 
Those of you with a scientific inclination will recognize my demonstration
as an example of…..centrifugal force.
The spinning of weight creates a force that wants to move the weight away from the center.
The opposite of centrifugal force is….centripetal force.
A centripetal forces draws mass, matter, weight toward the center.
Gravity is a centripetal force.  It draws us, for example, to the center of the earth.
 
Here’s my question this morning:  as a Christian do I trigger and promote a centrifugal force
(away from the center) or a centripetal force (toward the center)?
Because of my attitudes, dispositions, character…
do others want to move closer to me or farther away from me?
Do my words and actions set into motion entropy or preservation,
integration or disintegration,  erosion and slow destruction of the Body of Christ
or amalgamation, the bringing together of the Body of Christ?
 
As Jesus says farewell to his disciples, his parting words concern unity.
He prays for the unity of disciples…which translates into the unity of the Church.
 
Christian unity is more than human solidarity, i.e., standing together, standing with each other.
It is more than the creation and maintenance of an institutional structure.
We currently stand together in this building. 
Being together in the same place doesn’t mean we are a unified.
And even if by God’s grace and blessing we are unified as a community of faith
there is still a greater unity to be pursued, and that is the unity of the world.
Jesus came to unify the world, to unify all of creation.
 
The model for Christian unity is the relationship between Jesus and the Father.
The Gospel message as it is found in John, is that Jesus and the Father are one.
The Good News is that the future promised by God
is a future where the oneness between Father and Son will exist within the community of believers
and within all creation.  God will bring this unity about in and through Jesus.
This is what the Kingdom of God will be:  unity of all creation in Jesus Christ.
 
Whatever it is that holds Son and Father together
is what will hold the Christian community together and the world together.
By his becoming human, his Incarnation…
by his example, his teaching, his power, his sacrifice, his death and resurrection
Jesus reveals the substance of his relationship with the Father.  And that substance is intimate love.
Jesus and the Father are connected, bonded together, by a love that is intimate.
So for us as a community of faith to grow in unity,
as individual members we must increase our experience of love,
and increase our experience of intimacy.
 
Now is it possible to experience something without understanding it.
But human history reminds us that a lack of understanding interferes with unity.
Other things that interfere with unity include folly, irrationality, and ungodliness.
There are things that contribute to unity:
            - learning from the mind of God.
            - knowledge of value and truth.
            - the right state of the intellect.
            - a mind and heart directed to what is divine.
            - wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
            - the right way of thinking (which is a divine gift)
            - the ability to act with insight.
            - faith and intimate love.
            - a unity of consciousness (vs a scattering of consciousness).
            - being responsible to and accountable to the same law (when anyone puts self above the law
or outside the law, unity is endangered.)
 
A diamond with many facets, many sides, is a unity.  An orchestra with many instruments is a unity.
The body with its many parts is a unity.  The community with its many members is a unity.
Let us never forget….God is directing all of history toward unity.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, in and through Jesus Christ Your Son, help us hear Your voice summoning us to unity.  Give us a spirit that is centripetal.  Amen!”